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Movie Review: Please Give

Alternate Title: Givers and Takers

Story: I loved this film. I was out of town when it opened last month and finally got around to checking it out (after a few Lobo readers suggested that I should do so). I repeat - I loved this film. It was brilliantly written and directed by Nicole Holofcener who has the New York character down to perfection.

Kate and Alex own a vintage furniture store. They buy their wares from estate sales and resell at a very nice profit. Kate has guilt over the richness of their lives. They have bought the apartment next to theirs and are waiting for the 90 year old lady who lives in it to die so they can expand their apartment so that they and their teenage daughter can have even more room.

During this process we meet the nonagenarian's two grand daughters. One is good as gold and the other is, well ---is not. How these characters, plus Granny, interact during this uncomfortable, waiting to die, period is the heart of the film.

Vignette after vignette allow us to enter a bit more into their lives and under their skin. It is revelatory, funny, graceful and heartfelt. I implore you to find this film and see it. You will not be disappointed. Do you have to be a New Yorker to like it? It couldn't hurt - but not necessary.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAc9du0j9cI

Acting: Catherine Keener as Kate was flawless. Amanda Peet as Mary gave the best performance of her life. Oliver Platt as Alex, hit every nail on the head. Rebecca Hall as Rebecca fooled me as an American. I did not realize she was English.Ann Guilbert as Andra was fabulous. Lois Smith as Mrs. Portman was terrific. Sarah Steele as young Abby was perfect as was and Thomas Ian Nicholas as Eugene.

Trivia: Nicole Holofcener's movies include: Friends with Money (2006), Lovely & Amazing (2001) and Walking and Talking (1996). One of the character's in Please Give, is reading Sarah Vowell's book. Sarah Vowell pops up as a customer in their vintage furniture store. If you have seen Sarah Vowell on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, you will recognize her like I did.

Predilection: I like films that take place in NYC.

Critters: Two adorable dogs.

Food: Birthday cake, microwave dinners.

Sex Spectrum: Fumbling, guilt ridden, extra-marital sex.

Soundtrack: A perfect soundtrack by Marcelo Zarvos that opens with an hilarious tune by the Roches called "No Socks."

Opening Titles: The above tune played over an opening sequence of close-ups of breasts, as objects, during mammography exams.

Visual Art: Some great NYC apartments.

Theater Audience: About 10 other urban kvetchers and us.

Weather: NY is delightful in the fall.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid great attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure where this little film would take me and was delighted by its twists and turns.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: It should be but will be overlooked.

Big Screen or Rental: It will be hard to find this perfect gem on the big screen so rental will have to do.

Length: 90 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 9